Friday, January 7, 2011

In stock: VeloNews' #1 product of 2010

Neal Rodgers, Managing Editor of VeloNews (yet a self-described "common, non-techie rider") picked his top 10 products of 2010 and #1 is the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Ultrasoft Shell Jacket. We have to agree -- which is why we have the men's in black and coffee in a variety of sizes in all three stores, plus the women's in black in Medina and Rocky River.

Here's what Neal loves so much about this jacket:

There’s nothing about Pearl’s P.R.O. Ultrasoft Shell jacket that’s wrong; in other words, everything about it is right. It has a perfect, slim tailored cut (not too loose, not to snug), perfect weight (neither light nor heavy) and perfect design (stylish enough to wear to dinner, sporty enough to wear to a cyclocross race.) I love the asymmetrical cuffs, the plush faux fur interior, the oversize metal zippers and the minimalist use of logos; I appreciate that there’s nothing on this jacket that screams “cyclist.” (That’s what the Alchemist Thread Works t-shirt is for.)

A few months back I attended a congratulations party for Tayor Phinney in Boulder, Colorado, and spotted Pearl Izumi president Juergen Eckmann sporting the P.R.O Ultrasoft Shell; that’s a testament, considering he can choose from anything in Pearl’s line. Simply put, in 2010 this was my go-to jacket for all but the warmest summer months. At $160 it’s not an impulse buy, but it’s worth every penny. Perhaps the best compliment I can give is this — I’ve considered buying a second jacket, to keep as a spare for the day Pearl stops producing this model.

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